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SPORTS CLUBS MISSING OUT ON TAX BONANZA WORTH£MILLIONS

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Around 40,000 amateur sports clubs across the United Kingdom are ...
Around 40,000 amateur sports clubs across the United Kingdom are

missing out on tax benefits, reduced business rates and gift aid

which could reach an astonishing£148m. Now government ministers are

urging the clubs to claim what they are entitled to. Because the vast

majority of the 40,000 amateur clubs that might be eligible have not

registered with the Inland Revenue as a 'CASC' - a Community Amateur

Sports Club - they are missing out on a number of financial benefits,

including:

* Rate relief - at 80% on their business rates

* Exemption from corporation tax on trading income doubled to£30,000

and income from property doubled to£20,000

* Exemption from capital gains tax when they sell off assets

The CASC scheme also provides a range of benefits to encourage

communities to support their local clubs, including Gift Aid on

donations by individuals, worth an additional 28 pence for every

pound donated.

Gift Aid has already proved hugely successful to charities, giving

the voluntary sector£2.3billion in the last year.

Sports minister Richard Caborn and the economic secretary to the

Treasury John Healey visited Totteridge Cricket Club in North London

to highlight the benefits open to amateur sports clubs. Totteridge CC

applied for CASC status in March 2003, was approved the following

month, and now saves£3,710 per annum through the mandatory rate

relief that the status provides.

Mr Caborn said:

'Clubs are slowly getting the message about the huge benefits of

being registered as a CASC. But there are many thousands more which

are still missing out. My call to those clubs is a simple one - get

involved now and get saving. 'So far only 1,400 clubs have

registered. Cricket, with 300, leads the way - but other

high-profile sports like football and rugby union have fewer than 100

clubs in the scheme. They don't know what they are missing.

'The impact of better sporting facilities will be enjoyed by us all,

as the health of the nation improves. The introduction of the CASC

scheme underlines how committed we are to improving amateur sport.'

Mr Healey added:

'Today we are issuing a wake-up call to sports clubs to claim new tax

breaks simply by registering as a community sports club. Look at

Totteridge Cricket Club - they are making savings of£3,710 every

year now they are a CASC.

'A great saving - and all of that money can now be re-invested into

the club and its facilities. The CASCs scheme is putting more money

into developing sports facilities at grass roots level.

'There is also a range of tax incentives for donors. Gift Aid, for

example, means that supporters' donations are worth even more in

their clubs' hands. 'Of course it's not all about money, but without

the cash many communities will not get the chance to enjoy regular

sporting activity and the next generation of sportsmen and women -

the Jonny Wilkinsons, Graham Thorpes and Paula Radcliffes of the

future - may never develop.

'I urge club members to get on to their treasurers and take advantage

of the huge tax benefits available to grow and sustain their clubs.'

Notes

1. Eligibility for CASC -

Clubs wishing to access the reliefs available through the CASC scheme

must register with Inland Revenue. To be eligible for registration

clubs must:

* Be open to the whole community, without discrimination

* Be organised on an amateur basis, ie non-profit making. Surpluses

must be reinvested in the club. Distributions to members are not

allowed

* Have as their main purpose providing facilities for, and promoting

participation in one or more eligible sports, ie those recognised

by the Sports Councils

2. Benefits of CASC -

As of 1 April 2004 registered CASCs enjoy the following benefits:

* Mandatory relief of 80% on non-domestic rates (aka 'business

rates') for CASCs in England & Wales. The Scottish Executive has

announced plans to introduce mandatory relief when time allows, but

has as an interim measure introduced discretionary relief of 80% for

all clubs.

* Exemption from capital gains tax on disposals of assets

* Exemption from corporation tax on:

* bank and building society interest

* trading income up to£30,000.

* income from property up to£20,000.

The scheme also provides a range of benefits to encourage communities

to support their local clubs:

Gains purposes.

3. Top 10 registrations by sport as at 31 May 2004

Sport Registrations

Cricket 308

Bowls 196

Lawn Tennis 111

Multi sports 106

Rugby Union 97

Sailing 92

Football 91

Golf 82

Gaelic Football 51

Shooting 37

3. For more information, follow the link to the Inland Revenue

website : http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/casc

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